Studies suggest that about 50% of babies will start crawling around 8 months of age. But like every other milestone guide, it doesn’t work the same way for all babies. Some start crawling way later while some even skip the milestone completely. Not all babies crawl in the traditional manner we are used to. In fact, there are 7 crawling styles so don’t be alarmed if your baby adopts one of these other crawling techniques.
The very first step towards crawling is called Tummy Time. This will help your baby with muscle strength development in their necks, shoulders, arms and back. As your baby gets stronger in this tummy down position, you may notice some funny postures like the “Aeroplane”; They lift their arms and legs off the ground and the weight is on the belly against the floor. The can also act like the are swimming by pushing themselves around on their belly with arms extended.
1. Commando Crawling
There are two different ways to do this which are;
- Army Crawl: Where the baby uses their arms to push themselves forward. Their bodies stay on the floor but they push with their arms.
- Inchworm crawl: Where the baby uses both arms to move forward at the same time. Here, the top part of their body is slightly elevated off the ground unlike the army crawl where the entire body is fully on the ground and only the arms are involved in the crawling process.
2. Classic Hand and Knees Crawling
The full weight of the body is on the hand and knees in this technique and it is the most popular crawling style. When your baby first starts to crawl, they will potentially start moved backwards first and this is because the upper body is much stronger than their lower body. So its’ generally easier for them to push backwards than pull forward. As their muscles get stronger, they will start to move forward. Here are some tips to help them learn how to crawl faster
3. Bear Crawling
This technique requires the baby’s elbow and knees extended and off the floor. All the weight goes through their arms and toes with the knees completely suspended off the ground while they walk like a bear.
4. Step Crawl Mix
This style of crawling involves the child crawling on one knee while the step with the other leg.
5. Bottom Shuffler or Scooter
In this crawling style, the baby basically drags herself on her bottom. Though this isn’t the typical classic crawling style, bottom shufflers can move very quickly. Bottom shufflers can sometimes be late walkers as they already have the speed they desire scooting around and also they haven’t exercised the arms and knees enough to make the transition to walking easier. They may walk around 18 months of age. Even scooting is diverse. Some babies sit and scoot on their bottoms, propelling themselves forward with their arms. Others prefer to scoot backwards on their backs or sideways. Any way your baby prefers to move around is acceptable, as long as they appear to use both sides of their body equally. Their movements may appear strange or ineffective, but they are assisting your baby in gaining the strength required for other milestones.
This is a variation of Bottom Shuffling. Here, the baby uses both legs and one arm to move forward.
7. The Rolling Crawl
This baby usually rolls from her back to her tummy and then all across the room.
These babies skip the crawling phase completely and move from sitting unsupported to cruising. They pull themselves to stand holding a furniture or your hands while they take bolds steps. Once they have perfected their cruise, they move straight to walking.
Babies will often to a mix of different crawls till they settle for the most convenient for them. To get your baby ready for crawling and walking, ensure you practice tummy time every day even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes to strengthen the muscles, the arms, neck and legs.